Venting - first time admitted to feeling

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Venting - first time admitted to feeling
8
Tue, 01-17-2006 - 1:51pm

I'm in a weird place. My d day was 18 months ago and we have been rebulding. My husband has done everything right. He is remorseful and hates himself for what happened (or so he says). I love him and didn't leave after I found out about the affair because I couldn't - I mean physically or emotionally. I knew I would stay no matter what.

I hated this about myself (still do.). But I'm glad I didn't make any rash descisions after finding out. My husband really did admit that he was wrong (the first time in our then 25 year relationship, 5 years of dating (since we were 16) and 20 years of marriage).
He worked hard on making amends and being sesitive about my feelings. He stated he knew he had hurt me and if he could would go back in time and change his behavior he would.

My problem is, is that after 18 months I still have alot of resentment and I want to talk about the affair. My husband began to get mad 3 months after admitting the A, if I wanted to bring it up. He stated it is the past and that we couldn't go forward if we lived in the past. But even though I agree fully with him, I can't let go of my hurt and anger. I think about the A all the time. I imagine what they did together, what he said to her (that he says to me now). I've learned not to say anything to him when I do because it only results in a big fight, and I end up feeling worse than before. What is wrong with me????

My question is, am I that juvenile? Do I want to hold onto the hurt and anger, even though the only one that's being hurt by it is me? This A has changed my whole life, somedays I wished I'd never found out, but of course that wouldn't change what had really been going on, would it? I still feel doublely betrayed. My husband and his whore decided that we all should be couples friends (she is also married) our sons were the same age and became great friends. I thought of her as one of my girlfriends. We spent about 16 months in each others houses, eating, playing cards, going out. We celebrated birthday's and anniversaries together. I watched her son so that my husband and her could go to hockey games together (something I wasn't interested in but that they both loved)at least 6 times a month during that time (I now know that on the way to and from the games they screwed each other). Our children went to the same day care, I should have know when my husband volunteered to take my son to daycare it wasn't to make my life easier (I am sooooooooooo stupid). My husband has always acted like he would die without me and that our marriage was the MOST important thing to him. During our marriage (including the 6-8 months the A was happening) he has always written me long love letters, telling me how much he loves me and how he couldn't live without me, etc...

The strange thing about it, was that when my husband finally told me about the A he stated it was to keep our marraige together, and if I'm not damned she said the exact same thing to me when I confronted her. Neither of them saw themselves as doing anything wrong to my marriage (or that fact her's). When I found out her husband didn't know, after three months of debating about it, I called him and told him about it. To tell the truth I wanted (and still do) to see her hurt, even half as much as I have hurt and seem to continue to be hurt. How do I TRUELY let this go? I know better, this isn't helping me, but I hate her and I want to punish them both for what they did.

Do I really want to rebuild or do I just want to get even? To me there is nothing special about our relationship anymore, the thing I thought he only shared with me was just a lie. Two anniversaries have gone by since I found out and the only thing they make me feel is disgust and sorrow. He had been talking about renewing our vows for a while but after I've ignored the requests or said no so many times he's stop asking.

Some days he's wonderful and I couldn't live without him and some days I can't stand the sight of him. Will this ever stop? Why do I want to know how this has affected the OW life and if she has had to "pay" for what she did? I feel like he has gotten off too easy - but then what is the point of trying to rebuild when I feel like this sometimes? Is this normal?

Sorry this has been so long - there is no one else to talk to that would understand what I'm going though. I hope someone can help me understand what it is I'm doing right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Tue, 01-17-2006 - 2:35pm

Some things in your post stuck out at me:

"My problem is, is that after 18 months I still have alot of resentment and I want to talk about the affair. "

I don't know whether you realize this but you are probably getting something from all that anger. I don't know what it is, maybe subconsciously you feel that you are a victim in this situation and you like holding this issue over your husband's head. Since your husband isn't going to leave the marriage and neither are you, you perceive you have a permanent hold on this man. I can understand why he is getting tired of talking about his affair, I strongly recommend you get some IC so you can let things go and move on.

"During our marriage (including the 6-8 months the A was happening) he has always written me long love letters, telling me how much he loves me and how he couldn't live without me, etc..."

I'd take whatever your husband writes or says with a grain of salt. You are going to have to learn to judge his actions rather than his words. It seems as if he has the gift of gab.

"The strange thing about it, was that when my husband finally told me about the A he stated it was to keep our marraige together, and if I'm not damned she said the exact same thing to me when I confronted her."

You're husband and his girlfriend are crazy. Nobody tells a spouse about an affair to "keep a marriage together" and they know it. You're husband told you the truth to assuage his guilt.

"Neither of them saw themselves as doing anything wrong to my marriage (or that fact her's)"

Have you been to marriage counseling? Even though your husband is apologetic I am not so sure he gets it.

"How do I TRUELY let this go?"

Why do you have to let it go? Perhaps you need to work on accepting what has happened and maybe figuring out how situation will make you a stronger better person.

"Do I really want to rebuild or do I just want to get even?"

Maybe you don't want to rebuild. Have you thought about a temporary separation from your husband so that you can have some space to breathe and get your feet on the ground?


"Why do I want to know how this has affected the OW life and if she has had to "pay" for what she did?"

Everyone gets theirs in the end. If the OW hasn't gotten hers yet, she will in the future. Your best bet is to let God handle this lady and he will take care of her.

"Is this normal?"

Probably, I know years ago I felt about the same. But I did a lot of growing up between then and now.

So there you go, I recommend IC for you, perhaps some MC and if that doesn't help... a temporary separation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Tue, 01-17-2006 - 2:52pm
Well I think you are still resentful because as you said after 3 months your husband wanted you to no longer talk about it. That's why your stuck. As someone has mentioned time alone doesn't make it heal. Your husband DOES NOT get to decide what he tells you and how long it will take you to heal. IMO if you don't get him to start talking your resentment and anger will stick around and you will be doing the walking. There are so many things he needs to prove in order for you to feel safe and healed. And as your husband talks to you and becomes accountable your resentment can fade. Hugs, Tea
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
Wed, 01-18-2006 - 1:10pm

((((hugs)))) Its really tough to admit that you still harbor resentment. Thats the very strange thing about rebuilding. You love the person so much yet you hate what they did. Its hard to forget the past. I'm that way too. Thats part of who I am. I have a really good memory and I remember dates/events. So its no surprise that I keep looking back at my H's A.

Are there certain topics you want to talk about with him regarding the A? Are there questions you have that you think he can answer? Are these questions a repeat of what you've already asked? What are you seeking by opening this up with him?

I'm not saying you shouldn't have these feelings of resentment and anger. I don't believe they go away, but I think they diminish.

At this point in your rebuilding, by bringing these up with him again, I think it does more damage than good. BS feel they need to talk about what happened. Its definitely part of the healing process. It varies from person to person in how long this need goes on for.

My advice is if you've already been through these things with your H before, find other ways to talk about it. IC, message boards, friends, journals, etc. Telling a WS that you have resentment for them deflates them and affects the M. WS don't understand the conflicting feelings and the pain BS carry even years after. WS get discouraged when they hear this bc there is NOTHING more they can do to take pain away. They can't erase the past and recreate it.

What WS can do is make positive changes in the M. Is your H doing all he can to make the M a safe and loving place for you? From your post, it sounds like he is.

Just know that you're not crazy or juvenile for feeling this way. Betrayal cuts very deep and its wounds stay for a lifetime. Try to find other outlets of expressing your feelings on his A. Stay focused on things you can change, like a great future together.

hugs,
hannah

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Wed, 01-18-2006 - 7:36pm

Hi,
I have not had experience with this issue before but can somewhat relate. I have been with my one and only real boyfriend for over 7 years now and understand the meaning of nurturing a relationship and getting through tough times.

It is totally normal to have to feel angry at the OW. However, it is your H that also committed the crime. I think you need to talk with him and let him know how you feel. Although you have tried and he thinks you should get over it, he needs to understand that it takes time to get over things like this and you need to be able to vent especially to him. He needs to be there for you and listen the things that bother you even if it they are things he does not want to here. He did something wrong and the least he could do is be there for you to help you through this hard time. Trying asking for his help. He should want to participate in helping you heal if he really cares and loves you even though he may not enjoy it.

Best of luck,
Dena

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2005
Wed, 01-18-2006 - 10:36pm

Are the two of you in MC right now or have you ever been since the A? I can tell you that the first 3 months after the A, I held A LOT of anger and resentment toward my H. It was very hard for me to deal with and let go. I could not have done that without our counselor's help. She really helped us both tremendously through the whole process. I am a very stubborn, hard-headed person. I don't forgive easily especially with such a huge betrayal. I can hang on to anger and hurt for a very long time (even though you may never realize it from looking at me from the outside).

I would strongly suggest getting in to MC immediately if you aren't already to deal with these issues together as a couple. If you don't, your M won't make it. By harboring all of this anger and resentment, you'll just push your H away. And if you aren't interested in MC yet, then go to IC just for you. Even if you decide you don't want to stay in the M, you do need the IC to help you get over this betrayal. If not, it will continue to eat away at you for years to come and affect your relationships with other people because of the betrayal factor.

I wish you the best and hope everything works out for you.

Pinkgirl

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2004
Thu, 01-19-2006 - 10:08am

Thank you all for responsing. This morning was hell and I lost it. I realize that I'm not as far in the healing process that my outside appearances suggest. My husband dosen't want to discuss the affair any more. If I look at it logically I understand that he doesn't, he's tried of repeating the same things and answering the same questions. I do realize that the thing I can't come to terms with is the fact that I know they at one time discussed leaving each other's spouses and starting a life together. But in the long run both decided to stay with their spouse and move on. At least this is what the OW told me and unfortuanately when I bring this up to my husband he refuses to discuss it. His answer is always that he is with me now and that's all that matters. This morning we argued and I told him I knew there were things he refused to admit and that he would never tell me about the affair. He agreed this was true. I think I'm hoping he deines that he at one time loved her more than me and that he stayed because he felt it was the right thing to do.

Yes we went to MC for a year. It helped but I believe the problem with moving on at this point for me is to accept the above mentioned situtation. I feel like a 2 year old throwing a hissy fit. I had hoped that what the OW told me was a lie and even though I knew if it was the truth I would be crushed, I threw the statement at my husband and what I didn't want to hear is what he told me. Which was basically that this may have been how he felt at the time and that why when I stated I knew he wouldn't ever come out and admit it, was I bringing it up constantly? (I think the saying goes something like this, be careful what you ask is the truth, you may not want to know the answer.)

I hope I stop torturing myself with this, I know that the sucess in our rebuilding depends on my ablity to face some facts and to go on. If I'm not willing (or able)to do so I'm wasting my time and his. To rebuild I have to be willing to come to terms with the truth and move on. I have to stop wishing it wasn't so - it's killing me.

Again thanks for your support - ever since D day I have been lurking and this site has been my lifeline. I know everyone says this, but it's true, I couldn't have gotten to this point without any of you. No one understands the terrible pain, anger and sadness being betrayed by the one person you so love and trust, unless it happens to you. I won't wish this on my worst enemy. How could I have been so wrong about him, why did I believe what he said? Sorry, seems I'm having a major pity party.

Thanks again

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 01-19-2006 - 1:41pm

"His answer is always that he is with me now and that's all that matters."

Um, not really Mr. Husband, because if you read on:

"I think I'm hoping he deines that he at one time loved her more than me and that he stayed because he felt it was the right thing to do."

If this is true then I guess you are the relationship triangle booby prize. He didn't stay with you because you are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to him and he didn't realize it, it seems as if he stayed because "it was the right thing to do."

I'd be very insulted as well. I'm not sure I could cope with being in a marriage to a guy that clearly loved another woman more. This type of attitude is prime fodder for a long discussion in front of a marriage counselor. Airing this topic out might help make your anger diminish. (or set your husband out to the curb with his belongings)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Fri, 01-20-2006 - 8:43am

Whenever "we" lash out at our spouses or ask the same questions over and over again i believe it comes down to the constant reassurance and committment tht we need from them. If they fail to do this we are left doubting them. I don't know how responsive your husband has been to you. I can tell you I was in denial with details i wanted him to answer the way I wanted those answers to be. But after awhile I started to accept the answers he gave me and I accepted and grieved over the truth.
I can tell you mixed in with my anger and denial it took me 6mo to get my husband to be where I needed him to be in order for us to move forward. I don't know what happened or who stepped up or if my husband was behaving the way I needed him to all along. I just know that 6 mo later I knew I was staying for good....

You must be able to talk about the affair to your husband and if he can't be there for you, even if the questions are repititious it will continue to hurt your marriage. Yes, of course you need to at some point move on BUT you get to decide when to do that not your husband. Your husband does not get to decide how long it should take you to heal.

One more thing have you been nurturing your relationship? Have you and your husband been speaking eachother's love language? Did you learn something about your marriages and improve those things? MOst importantly......Are you feeling shut down when you have to discuss issues affair and non affair related? Because if you are then you have to get those tools for communication. Hugs, tea